Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Light the Hoan project?

Light the Hoan is a collective of local business and civic leaders who have joined forces to illuminate the Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge. The group has launched a $1.5 million public crowdfunding campaign to help raise funds for the urban infrastructure project. Over the course of the one-year campaign, the group plans to meet with area influencers, as well as community and business partners to invite private sponsorship to help raise the remaining estimated $4 million cost of the project.

The groups members include:

  • Michael Hostad, group co-founder and Executive Director, The Commons at the Greater Milwaukee Committee
  • Ian Abston, group co-founder and Urban Alchemist at Wired Properties
  • Greg Marshall, group creative director and video producer, and Chief Storyteller at CI Design
  • Steve Kodis, leader of the People's Flag of Milwaukee Initiative
  • Lori Richards, president of Mueller Communications
  • Sorrina Beecher, group media strategy, Mueller Communications
  • Brenda Neigbauer, group project coordinator
  • Marleigh Petras, group social media specialist

How much will it cost?

Our crowdfunding goal is $1.5M. The overall project cost is estimated between $4M and $5.5M. The exact cost will be determined as we finalize our global search for design proposals from lighting companies later this year.

How will the money be used?

The monies raised from both the public and private fundraising campaigns will go toward installing thousands of computer-controlled LED lights to illuminate the Hoan Bridge. A portion of the funds will also be put into a reserve fund to provide for regular bridge maintenance up to 10 years.

How is this project 'Making Milwaukee's Future Brighter?'

While we’re pretty stoked about lighting up Milwaukee’s skyline, we believe harnessing as many positive stories as possible has the power to spark cultural and economic changes. With every light bulb representing a positive Milwaukee story, we not only see lighting the bridge as an Instagram-worthy opportunity to bring more beauty and value to downtown– but also as a symbolic representation of “bridging Milwaukeeans together.” Municipalities across the country have used similar bridge lighting initiatives to revitalize waterfronts and to create new centers for community-building activities and engagement.

Why isn't the money going toward other groups or purposes?

We believe telling the positive stories emerging from Milwaukee has powerful value. By hosting these stories on the Light the Hoan website and sharing them throughout the local media, we’ll be promoting stories that highlight the city’s positive, diverse and inclusive relationships. We also believe these stories can serve as a catalyst for even more citywide partnerships, initiating connections and change for further community impact.

How much does it cost to dedicate a bulb?

Individuals are encouraged to share their positive stories by dedicating a bulb for $25 each. Each donation includes a dedication on the Light the Hoan website and may be promoted in local media. A photo can be included with each dedication for $50. For more sponsorship levels, please see the Light the Hoan website at

If you prefer to donate via check, please make it payable to The Greater Milwaukee Foundation, write "Light the Hoan" in the memo field and mail it to:

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation - Light the Hoan
101 W. Pleasant St.
Milwaukee, WI 53212

How can I help spread the word?

Encourage your circle to share their positive Milwaukee stories by visiting the Light the Hoan website, and by sharing the news via your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages using the hashtag #LightTheHoan. For more ways to help promote Light the Hoan, visit

How can I partner with Light the Hoan

If you're a business interested in partnership opportunities or have an idea to help us raise funds in a creative way, let us know! Email or call 262-229-9464.

Is my gift tax deductible?

Gifts for the purpose of lighting the Hoan Bridge will be processed by Paypal Inc., and managed by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, the administrator of the Hoan Bridge Lighting Fund. The fund is a charitable fund and donations to it are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

What happens if the funds aren't raised? Do I get my money back?

Your donation will remain in the Hoan Bridge Lighting Fund at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation until sufficient funds are received to proceed with the project of lighting the Hoan Bridge. If the project does not proceed, by making a donation you agree to allow the Greater Milwaukee Foundation to use the donation to support urban lighting, placemaking, or other projects for the benefit to the people of the city of Milwaukee.
For more information or media inquiries please contact: Sorrina Beecher, Mueller Communications Phone: (414) 390-5500 Email: